Tonight we begin the journey of the Paschal Triduum: our journey, Christ’s journey, a journey to the Cross and beyond, to the empty tomb; a journey with Christ, to Christ and through Christ to the Father. A journey we make together, with each other, with our catechumens, with the Church throughout the world. We go with Mary, with John the beloved disciple – there they are behind me! – with Peter, with the holy women. We go in the silent power of the Holy Spirit. This is our Passover from sin to grace, from this world to the Father.
You are invited to the solemn blessing and veneration of the Image of The Divine Mercy on Sunday 28 April at St Joseph’s Church, Woodside (Aberdeen) from 14:45.
The programme includes Blessing and Veneration of the Image, Divine Mercy Chaplet and Praises, Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Confessions.
Today is too much for us really, more than we can take in.
There is the entry into Jerusalem: so positive, so promising. Here’s the Messiah entering Jerusalem, hailed as the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Then comes ‘the hour of darkness’ and in the end Jesus sealed in a stone cold tomb, wrapped up and left on a limestone shelf in a quarry turned into a cemetery.
The Chrism Mass is a special annual celebration led by the diocesan Bishop with the diocesan clergy. During that Mass the priests publicly renew their promises, and the oils used to administer the sacraments are blessed.
Should we make jokes about hell? Anyway, one is that in hell the British will be in charge of cooking, adding to the hellishness. Perhaps a prime example of our culinary ineptitude is our salads: a few dry lettuce leaves, some quartered tomato, perhaps a sliver of onion and some other detached green items. No oil!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Easter is almost here. We might picture ‘Easter’ as a person, as someone coming to visit us. She comes with her cortege of feasts: Palm Sunday and Holy Week, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and especially the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday – which then open out into the 50 days of Eastertide. Through signs and symbols, words and ceremonies, she brings us the Cross and Resurrection of Christ. She takes us to the heart of our faith. I encourage you to go out and meet her, not to miss the opportunity even if it disturbs usual routines or cuts across appealing alternatives. Let us thirst for the living God! Easter offers us wisdom and grace, the forgiveness of sins and peace with God. It is a chance to recover good priorities and tap into new energies. It is a time for the dry tree we are to experience a springtime and become green and fruitful again, and there is the goodness of coming together, of seeing our brothers and sisters in Christ.
You are invited to join SPUC (Scotland) and Archdiocese on Saturday 27th April, from 11:00, for the Annual Pro-Life Chain on Lothian Road, Edinburgh. This year we commentate the 51st Anniversary of the implementation of the Abortion Act. Since the Act was passed more than nine million unborn children who have been killed and countless mothers and fathers have been hurt by abortion.
The Jubilate Deo Prayer Group are celebrating 25 years of praying together and praising the Lord Jesus!
To mark their anniversary, the group are holding a day of celebration on Saturday 27th April from 10:00 until 16:00 at St Thomas’ Church, Keith. The celebration will include Mass, Praise & Worship, talks, testimonies and prayer ministry with lunch included. Everyone Welcome!
Bishop Hugh Gilbert of the RC Diocese of Aberdeen, Scotland offers his mid-lent reflection where he presents Abraham as a key figure to help us prepare for Easter.
In his latter years, Mgr Robert produced – with Anne Oliver’s help – a pleasing booklet, Priests I have Known. Well, he is a priest all of us here have known and many more than us and over no small stretch of time. He was prepared for priesthood at Blairs and then at St. Sulpice, which left him a permanent French connection. Ordained in Dufftown by Bishop Walsh on the feast of Ss Peter and Paul, 29 June 1952, just under the canonical age of 24. “Mummy – a child is supposed to have said returning from a Mass he celebrated in those early days – one of the altar servers said the Mass today” – so young did he look. Yes, a priest people have known: at St Peter’s in the Castlegate, Kirkwall (not his favourite appointment), Dornie, Elgin for so many years, Inverness, and finally in retirement at Fochabers. “You have described the perimeters of the diocese”, as Archbishop Mario expressed it with characteristic eloquence. And always that memorable voice, the gentle availability, the friendliness and helpfulness towards his fellow-priests, his generous loyalty to this Abbey of which he was an oblate, the acceptance of diocesan tasks (he was Treasurer for 23 years). “The pastoral dedication and gentle courtesy”, as Bishop Peter well expressed it. The fund of stories, often concluded with “Oh, dearie me!” A simplicity which made him an easy companion on episcopal holidays. A passion for lemons which did strange things to his teeth. Like his brother, a priest wholly of this diocese, embodying its uniqueness. It’s touching he was born and baptized (three times!) and confirmed and made his first Holy Communion in Dufftown, was ordained in Dufftown and died in Dufftown and will be buried there this afternoon – Dufftown, the town built on Seven Stills, Upper Banffshire, the Moravian heartlands, and also, thanks to Mortlach, the historical cradle of our current diocese. There was not a hint of the Central Belt in him, certainly. As so often, the last years were not easy, and much gratitude is due to all who helped a sometimes recalcitrant Robert through them, not least his sister Sr Monica – described to me as “the only person he would listen to”!